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Ou taka kofea?| Where are your sandals?

Model Fishing Net (Flying Fish Net), Tuvalu. Gift of L Geursen, 1991. Te Papa

This week to celebrate Tuvalu language week 2014 we have shared a few highlights from our collection on Instagram including a pair of taka (reef sandals). In Tuvalu taka were more than a fashion statement, for some they were a necessity. Tuvalu is a low-lying island group made up of four reef islands and five true atolls. The… Read more »

Students add a little wow factor to Te Papa Store

  • Christoph and Sheryl with their finished windows.
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Every year the team at the World of WearableArt™ encourages retailers around Wellington to take part in the annual World of World of WearableArt™ Window Dressing Competition. From 22 September – 7 October 2014 you can be the judge and cast your vote for the best window in town! Simply visit WOWWindowComp.com to cast your vote [competition now closed]. Each year Te… Read more »

Queen Sālote on the world stage

Ngatu Pepa [Vilene Tapa], 03.1996, Upper Hutt. Ilo Me'a Fo'ou (New Creations) - Tongan Womans Group. Purchased 1997 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board Funds. Te Papa

For Tongan language week 2014 – Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga I have been thinking about how our Tongan collection reflects this year’s theme “Ko e Kai ia ‘a e Tonga” – “Enriching Aotearoa with Tongan Wisdom”. My first thought was of the large ngatu pepa (2007) produced by Ilo Me’a Fo’ou a Wellington-based kautaha… Read more »

Tū whitia te hopo | Feel the fear and pronounce it anyway! Tip 1

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Having trouble pronouncing kupu Māori? Many people are so afraid of giving it a go, they would much rather just give it a miss. Believe me I understand. There are words in other languages I avoid using for that very reason! For example, the scientific name for the manu  below is Himantopus leucocephalus…?! Or try saying “superfluous”… Read more »

Māori at Gallipoli – TedX talk “Forgotten grandfathers: Maori men of WW1″

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Kia ora koutou Last month I gave a talk at a TedX conference in Tauranga where I discussed some of the research I’ve undertaken as part of our exhibition development project here for an exhibition about Gallipoli (due to open April next year at Te Papa). I’ve been very busy assembling potential Māori content for that… Read more »

Delving into the household accounts of James Hector

  • Mrs Hector paid a Mrs Fahy to do her laundry. Photo: Simon Nathan.
  • Bundles of James Hector's bills are held in Te Papa's archive. Photo: Simon Nathan.
  • A tally of purchases from I & H Barber - Butchers.
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Dr Simon Nathan is an Honorary Research Associate at Te Papa. During his research towards a biography on James Hector, the founder of the Colonial Museum, he has delved into the household accounts of the Hector family, which are held in Te Papa’s Archive. In this guest blog post, he shares some of his findings on the the lifestyle of a… Read more »

Tū whitia te hopo | Feel the fear and pronounce it anyway! Tip 2

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Having trouble pronouncing kupu Māori? Here our next tip from kaiako Joan Costello. Tip 2 Split syllables after vowels and before consonants. Mo/ko/we/ri                            Dinosaur (mo, ko = Or    we = There   ri = Three) Mo/ko/hi/ku/roa                    Tyrannosaur (mo, ko = Or     hi = Three     ku = Two   ro = Or     a = Are) Remember to use Tip 1 ‘Are There Three Or Two’ This anga pōhatu is not a mokohikuroa, but… Read more »

Arohatia te Reo: learning 50 kupu hou (new Māori words) – Te Reo and WWI research

"HURRAH FOR THE KING: MEMBERS OF THE MAORI CONTINGENT IN THE NEW ZEALAND CAMP AT ZEITOUN BEFORE THEIR DEPARTURE TO MALTA." 
Taken from the supplement to the Auckland Weekly News 27 May 1915 p 43
(Image courtesy of Auckland Libraries)

In honour of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, here are a number of kupu Māori (Māori words) that I constantly use in my everyday mahi/work as a curator at Te Papa, and especially in my research for the First World War exhibition we are presently developing. Many of the sources written in te reo Māori that date… Read more »

Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira – now open!

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Kia ora koutou. The exhibition opening and celebratory weekend was amazing. Thank you to all the many people of Ngāti Toa Rangatira who helped make this day happen. Also our acknowledgements to our past iwi in residence, and all those who came to the dawn opening, travelling from far and wide. There were over a thousand people in… Read more »